Amhrán na bhFiann, ‘The Soldier’s Song’ is Ireland’s national anthem. The music was originally composed in 1907 with 3 verses and a chorus by Peadar Kearney (who also wrote the English lyrics) and Patrick Heeney.
It was used as a marching song by the Irish Volunteers and was sung by rebels in the General Post Office (GPO) during the Easter Rising of 1916. Translated into Irish in 1923 by Liam Ó Rinn it remained popular with the national army and became the country’s official anthem in 1926.
In 1928 the Army band started playing just the chorus to encourage people to join in, and in 1929 an official musical arrangement, titled ‘The Soldier’s Song’, was produced by Colonel Fritz Brasé, director of the Army band.
|English Version||Irish Version|
Soldiers are we,
whose lives are pledged to Ireland,
Some have come
from a land beyond the wave,
Sworn to be free,
no more our ancient sireland,
Shall shelter the despot or the slave.
Tonight we man the “bearna baoil”,
In Erin’s cause, come woe or weal,
’Mid cannon’s roar and rifles’ peal,
We’ll chant a soldier’s song
Sinne Fianna Fáil,
atá faoi gheall ag Éirinn,
Buíon dár slua
thar toinn do ráinig chughainn,
Faoi mhóid bheith saor
Seantír ár sinsear feasta,
Ní fhágfar faoin tíorán ná faoin tráill.
Anocht a théam sa bhearna baoil,
Le gean ar Ghaeil, chun báis nó saoil,
Le gunna scréach faoi lámhach na bpiléar,
Seo libh canaig amhrán na bhFiann
|(‘bearna baoil’ means gap of danger)|